We were forced to reach the unfortunate conclusion, a few weeks ago, that our adorable little kitten is a total asshole.
“Adrianne,” my friend Sara said with some alarm, attempting to shake Jack off her leg during her first and potentially last visit to our new apartment, “your cat is kind of insane.” It was a little late to be shaking anything, to be honest. Once he gets those fangs into your marrow, there’s no getting rid of him; you have to make a few preemptive strikes before making a movement of any kind in our home. Or if you’re sitting for a long period of time. Really, if you’d rather not be attacked, you should just go into a closet and shut the door behind you, quickly.
“I think he’s teething,” I said a few days later, nose-deep in The Kitten-Owner’s Manual, which I actually own. “We need to get him some kind of chewing toy. Then he’ll stop eating us.”
We have our squirt bottle, our multiple cans of loud, alarming coins (which are more alarming to us than the cat), and, actually, our throwing arms. I never thought I’d be the kind of cat owner who threw her kitten across the room, but apparently, when the going gets tough, the tough get violent. It’s been a particularly rough couple of weeks; papers have been scattered, shoes chewed, garbage cans overturned, books projected off their shelves. Our kitten is that belligerent friend at the bar, always drunk first and last, forever starting random, stupid fights and damaging property for the heck of it. And we can’t tell him to leave.
“I am going insane,” I said the other day. “I will never be able to have children. Both mentally, and now physically, since he is attacking my uterus.” Jack began happily gnawing on my hand. “Ow! CHRIST! You little bastard . . .”
“Bite him back!” Jurvis suggested. “That’s what I do.”
“Yeah?” I said, half-delirious. “I guess that makes sense.” I began struggling with our kitten, attempting to fit one of his paws into my mouth. Uh, Adrianne . . . said my brain.
“Sometimes,” Jurvis confessed, “I place his entire head in my mouth, just so he knows I’m capable of it.”
I stopped, paw mid-mouth. It was a moment of clarity. Even the kitten momentarily loosened his jaws of death grip to look up at me with big questioning eyes.
“You do what?” I said.